by Jacques Prevert
A man was sheltered under a porch,
And don't bear a grudge against me
And the one who was squeezing you
But it's not the same and everything is spoiled.
Very simply the clouds,
NOTES FROM THE TRANSLATOR :
This loses a lot in the translation, and I'm really not sure exactly what's going on, especially
at the end. The word "chien" means dog, but the dictionary also says it can mean the hammer
of a gun, but I can't see that it makes sense either way! I hope I was fairly accurate.
The word "connerie" I couldn't find at all. This poem is very heavy.
Do you know the formal and familiar forms that some languages have? People use the familiar
with children and people who are close to them. That is touched on in this poem.
Brest is a city on the ocean and is the farthest point west in France."
I RECEIVED THIS INFORMATION FROM OTHER READERS :
"Hi! My name is Stephanie and I am French. I read your translation of
'Barbara,' which is pretty accurate except for the part 'crevent
comme des chiens, des chiens qui disparaissent.' See in French 'dog'
can have a bad meaning as in English. Here what the author meant was
that those poor guys who were sent to war, died without anybody caring.
As for 'crever' it is slang for 'to die,' thus reinforcing the
meaning of them dying in a stupid context. Also you were wondering
about 'conneries.' It is slang for 'stupidities.' Hope it helped."
"I am a french reader, and I was very pleased to see your web site...
in the poem 'Barbara,' "connerie" means nonsense;
what a nonsense war is: quelle connerie la guerre..."
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